Boxing Days

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

The cartoons I have been showing you the past few posts appeared in the year 2014. They are from my own “best of 2014” compilation assembled as an entry in the National Cartoonist Society’s 2015 divisional awards which were to be announced at the annual Reuben Award extravaganza in May, 2015. My entry, of course, was in the “Best Comic Strip” division. No, I didn’t win, but thanks for asking. “Pearls before Swine” by Stephen Pastis won. I met Stephen when a bunch of us cartoonists visited St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis last May, only days before the aforementioned awards ceremony. He’s a great guy and not quite so scruffy as he depicts himself in his strip.

50 thoughts on “Boxing Days”

  1. I don’t have a closet full of those shipping boxes, but I probably do have the equivalent of a closet full of stuff stored in them.

    Oh, and Happy Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, to all. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

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  2. I enjoy Pearls (and others as well) but somehow A&J strips seem to be the only ones with the staying power to be printed and placed on the fridge. (There is one where we keep the cat box. I’m sure you all remember the one I’m speaking of. If not check 3/5/13)

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  3. Oh my…BOXES! Since June of last year, we have had SO many boxes in, and out of our houses as well as in storage. I am almost to the point of being able to put both cars in the garage. The city will take my cardboard if I twine them together, but I have NO idea how many boxes that we used and disposed of. In automotive, we use returnable containers. If I could have rented a few, then it might have made life easier, but the boxes are easier to write on.

    We threw away so much, but we still have a lot of things in our basement. Home Depot had 5 shelve storage unit on sale and I bought 5. May buy a couple more. We plan to put curtains over them so then our basement won’t look like a warehouse.

    My wife has entered many contests for her writing and fortunately has won a few. Of course when she doesn’t win, I have to convince her that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I guess “funny” is too. Don’t worry Jimmy, you have quite a few fans her at A&J.com and we all think you’re funny….I think

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  4. Oh my…BOXES! Since June of last year, we have had SO many boxes in, and out of our houses as well as in storage. I am almost to the point of being able to put both cars in the garage. The city will take my cardboard if I twine them together, but I have NO idea how many boxes that we used and disposed of. In automotive, we use returnable containers. If I could have rented a few, then it might have made life easier, but the boxes are easier to write on.

    We threw away so much, but we still have a lot of things in our basement. Home Depot had 5 shelve storage unit on sale and I bought 5. May buy a couple more. We plan to put curtains over them so then our basement won’t look like a warehouse.

    My wife has entered many contests for her writing and fortunately has won a few. Of course when she doesn’t win, I have to convince her that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I guess “funny” is too. Don’t worry Jimmy, you have quite a few fans her at A&J.com and we all think you’re funny….I think

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  5. emb, had posted this for you, but Jimmy had changed to another strip (you got that right, Arlo!).

    emb, thanks for the Herman strip. That has been one of my favorite comic strips for years. Before I had to sell my book collection I had all Mr. Unger’s Herman reprint books, including one full-color one that was all Sunday strips.

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  6. Yep, today’s “Baby Blues” is, indeed, a classic! I like “Pearls” for the puns, but not so much otherwise. “Pickles” has its moments, and seems a steady piece of work.

    Since my MBH began supporting the Amazon staff, our basement has loads of boxes virtually all the time. That’s nice at gift-giving times, but, if we ever have more mice, we may never find them unless via traps! [In the past, we found out too late that a guest rodent had been living extremely well in a large Thanksgiving wreath composed of many nuts of several kinds. It must have kept him/her stuffed for most of the winter.]

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  7. I made a promise to myself that should I win the lottery I will give a million to St. Judes. I’m not sure that I could visit though. I think that Old Yeller would still start me blubbering.

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  8. Jimmy, I have a mantra “Don’t design over the head of the judges.” That seems to apply to comic strips as well.

    About St. Judes, I used to volunteer at a home for children in New Orleans where the children were missing arms, legs, couldn’t walk, sort of a home to dump children in that no one wanted. I loved the kids and the kids loved me. It didn’t matter about races or disability, those were loving children.

    But I’d cry for days, not while I loved them but at home. My doctor made me quit because I’d volunteer one day and cry five.

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  9. Jackie,

    I worked at a nursing home that had a wing for children that were dumped by their parents or wards of the state for a semester while I was in college. For the 3-11 shift, 5 days a week I was responsible for a nursery of 6 boys with various physical and medical conditions. Two were of normal intelligence but were trapped in mostly non-functional bodies. The other four had profound mental disabilities. There were about 70 children total, many were there as the result of parental abuse.

    Working with those children has had a lifelong effect on me. I will not tolerate the attitudes that some people have about “retards” or “freaks”. It has been a great joy to be able to live near and do things with my severely developmentally disabled nephew. Last summer, he traveled to Colorado with my wife and I to be part of the family summer vacation with my daughters. He loves me to sing, “The ants go marching” while he walks in rhythm with the song.

    I didn’t cry every night, but I did recognize the pathos of their circumstance. I had to stop working there because it was necessary for me to transfer to the primary campus for my ROTC program after I received a three-year ROTC scholarship. I felt guilty about leaving– the boys that could talk all called me “Daddy David.”

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  10. OF just had a nice blow, ideal viewing conditions: clear weather, sunlight from the W, light W breeze, probably above 0 temps [guess]. Pattern sort of usual: few small jets, teasers as it were, over sev. min. into the 1702-1722 window, sizable intermittent jets, then sustained jets and major eruption about 1720+.

    Two quite different things I don’t understand. 1. Why do cam operators seem to think it important that the full boardwalk remain in view? It curves to the L so one could keep its W-most corner in view and the top of the highest jets would not be cut off by the top margin of the frame. They could of course zoom out, but then get a smaller view of OF and even more of the dull boardwalk. Cam did move to the R as the breeze picked up, so you could see the cloud dissipate. Whoopee.

    2. We get a predicted 20 min. window. What about the public there? Judging by their gaits, most were of retirement age, only 3-4 relatively young, no kids. All acted as though they had no idea about the predicted window. The cam is presumably on the roof of a bldg. [Of course it could be operated from Boulder, CO.] Mostly, they walked on by. None were there for the show. Apparently, our info is not available on site. Strange. emb

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  11. Jackie,

    The “don’t design over the heads of the judges” also occasionally applies to high school teachers, too. My eldest daughter had a 9th grade English teacher that couldn’t understand the words and ideas my daughter used. She got bad grades (“C”) on several papers because the thesis was too complex, or the ideas expressed required reflection. After arranging a transfer to the Pre-advanced placement 9th grade English my daughter did much better.

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  12. David: In NYC in the early ’40s, they had a system called ‘rapid advance’ in JHS. At the time, el-hi years were divided into two semesters; i.e., you could enroll in grade 1A after Christmas if you turned age 6 in, say, Nov. Students who were in 1A in the fall, would be in 1B in spring.

    You of course had a PERMANENT RECORD from elementary school. If you’d done well, when you started JHS, either in Sept. or Jan., you’d go into grade 7A.R [R = rapid advance.] Then 7B.R, 8 [one semester], then 9A.R and 9B.R: 3 yrs. in 2.5. Not only saved you an extra semester, but insured that, at least in Home Room, you’d be with other overachievers, which made life more bearable.

    Then, if you did well on Stuyesant H.S.’s* two day exam, you’d have 10-12th grade w/ other overachievers. May have saved my life. [Stuyesant bit repeated from earlier posts years ago.]

    NYC has eliminated the 1A-1B system since; don’t know what they’ve done with the ‘rapids.’ I know I started PS 41 in 1B in Sept., at age 8, skipped 2A and 3A, and started JHS 3 in 7A.R in Jan., 10A in Stuyvesant in Sep. ’44.

    *or Brooklyn Tech., Bronx Science, Hunter High, H.S. of Music and Art, maybe others.

    Peace, emb

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  13. Couldn’t help it.

    As soon as I read “Pearls before Swine,” I thought of the 60s and early 70s psychedelic-folk group, fronted by Tom Rapp.

    I saw them in concert at Western Kentucky University when I was a freshman there.

    My favorite album of theirs is “These Things Too,” a highly unusual look at some aspects of Jesus.

    Favorite line from the album: Growing up is learning to disbelieve.

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  14. Gotta love St. Jude’s!! As a native Memphian, I think I’m allowed to make a plug. I hope you’ll consider making a donation to the hospital. They never charge patients for treatment, and they’ve made amazing progress in curing children’s cancer. It’s a beautiful place!

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  15. I will say that I found working with children and adults with lower IQ’s to be a delight. Those that may occasionally become violent you just learn to watch for the signs and keep your distance when necessary.

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  16. I will say that I found working with children and adults with lower IQ’s to be a delight. Those that may occasionally become violent you just learn to watch for the signs and keep your distance when necessary.

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  17. I will say that I found working with children and adults with lower IQ’s to be a delight. Those that may occasionally become violent you just learn to watch for the signs and keep your distance when necessary.

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  18. As I believe I’ve mentioned, for many years prior to her untimely death in late 2013, my sister would crochet child-size “chemo caps” all year, and around the first of December would ship them, in the name of our church congregation, to St. Jude’s. Every time I see one of their appeals on TV, I like to think that one of the children shown might be wearing a cap she made.

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  19. ok- a little bit of serendipity with the boxes from internet shopping and St Jude’s. Sign in to Amazon through Amazon Smiles and a small percentage of your purchase will be donated to the charity of your choice. Many good ones, but I chose St. Jude.

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  20. Also, ‘Pearls before swine.’ On occasion, when there was too much rustling toward the end of a 50-minute hour, I’d say, ‘Hold on; let me cast a few more pearls.’ Probably 1% understood. Probably not PC.

    Peace, emb

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  21. This has been a tiring day. My big deal was having Lowe’s come measure my main house roof to replace remainder of shingles with white tin. And put gutters and downspouts on entire house to keep water pouring off said tin from washing away more of yard.

    I have to go to Lowe’s tomorrow to order the two plantation shutters and more Hardie board for the soffit and fascia boards that are damaged. That will leave nothing but the used to be carport to repurpose, roof and gutter.

    I did take advantage of the BOGOTA deal on vegetable seeds to order a gracious amount of seeds for the gardens. I plan on having another beautiful garden this year, beginning with cool weather crops since I am stuck here for now. My feed store said she’d have plants today so I will run by tomorrow and see.

    Wish I had someone who likes to garden around. Or even cook.

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  22. That’s something I hadn’t noticed before. Look at the bottom right corner of the comment box. There are a couple of faint(to my eyes) lines. If you click your mouse button and drag downward you can resize the box. Guess that is for people who have a lot to say and want to see it all before they send it.

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  23. Jackie, instead of plain downspouts, why not have them put in the perforated pipe in your yard connected to downspout? Then water goes underground instead of washing out everything.

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  24. Not Bogota, the BOGO deal on seeds. I am doing my usual climbing pole beans of many colors mixed with morning glories, climbing sugar snap and sweet peas, cucumbers, melons up all those trellises and the zinnias, marigolds, etc. In middle of all beds, surrounded by greens and squash, beans. It’s too pretty to eat.

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  25. Already have that done, Kyle has more French drains in.my yard than they do in Paris. We are building retaining walls and back filling before we put down the cobblestone patios on top of back fill to try to stop it sliding into creek.

    It’s so dug up around here it looks like trench work in WWI.

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  26. If I could keep fish in pond, keep coons from eating fish, keep my cats from eating fish, keep pond from filling with snakes, etc. Etc. Etc. What I. Have always wanted was a duck pond.,I love ducks and chickens. Right now I am settling on a stone patio in privacy fence with fountains and spitting birds and fish.

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  27. Good morning Villagers…..

    OK, I want to know who said it could snow again last night….aaauuuggghhhh!!!!

    But on the brighter side, if no new cases of Avian flu do not show up, the state is going to lift some, just some, restrictions…like not having to get up at 4ish (which my Boss does) and have to swab some 22 hens inner mouths and rush to the epic center by 7 and have them sent off to be tested. Still have to hazmat it though.

    Felt so sorry for Jonathan yesterday, both feed trucks and egg trucks came in, and they have to be disinfected before and after leaving the parking lot…the wind chill was terrible.

    On comics, I only read two…..A&J, and BCN. BCN is on go comics, but she also had her own website where she posts a strip. The one on go comics is a few months behind. I think Ruth was the one that introduced that strip…I also read her twitter too.

    Jerry, do you still read BCN?

    Good eye Mark, never noticed those dots before. And prayers for your Mother today. Please, keep us posted on her recovery.

    It would be so hard for me to work with disabled children, I would want to take all of them home with me. Thank you to those who do and you are greatly admired.

    Ya’ll have a safe day.

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  28. Something I did not know about egg packaging. Besides the sell by date, there is a 3 digit number. That is the Julian date from 001-365 that represents the day of the year when the eggs were packed. And that they could be up to 30 days old when they are packed. Here’s a link with photos illustrating the two different dating methods used.

    https://www.facebook.com/FreshEggsDaily/photos/a.246639655377951.55504.173382679370316/1032254396816469/?type=3

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  29. When my son in law went to Haiti to make artificial legs for the earthquake victims we thought he would adopt every child so he could keep making their legs. There are few real orphans there but poverty is everywhere. They ended up making artificial legs for everyone missing a limb, no matter the cause as there had never been any artificial limbs available.

    But Brandon did create limbs for infants and toddlers who had lost them in the quake. These children walked for the first time. But so did adults who had been without legs their entire lives.

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